Date of Award

Fall 1989

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bogenschild, Erika G.

Second Advisor

Martin, Thomas

Third Advisor

Ivanoff, John


The mathematics textbook plays a primary role in the daily learning experiences of children. To a great extent, the text guides the teacher's curriculum decisions in content selection, topic sequencing, and test construction. In my twenty years of teaching experience in secondary mathematics, I have encountered varying degrees of frustration with textbooks. Success in the mathematics classroom depends on effective instruction, student competency in basic skills, and individual motivation to pursue the joys of learning. This research project originated from a concern about the textbook adoption process implemented in many school districts. In the spring of 1988, I conducted a national survey of textbook practices. From the overwhelming wealth of responses, an imperative concern for the readability of textbooks emerged. In the review of the literature, I found very little attention focused on the issue of readability in the secondary mathematics curriculum. Since reading is a vital skill in the learning process, the problem of readability in math education became a meaningful issue to research. This project investigated the relationship among eleven structural variables in advanced algebra textbooks and the readability of these texts measured by Cloze reading scores. In my effort to gain a deeper understanding of textual readability in the secondary math curriculum, I have found an area which holds a promise for future research in my professional career.



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